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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Difference Between SPF and SharePoint Server

As mentioned earlier in this chapter, SharePoint Server is an extension of SPF. SharePoint Server sites have features that are not available in SPF sites, and they enjoy all the features of SPF sites.

SPF sites work well for collaboration sites. Such a site gives groups of people the ability to upload and download documents, use discussion boards, assign tasks, share events, and use workflows. However, SPF does not have enough features to be a good platform for a corporate portal or for a corporate search solution. SharePoint Server offers extra features that upgrade SPF into a platform that can serve a corporation with enterprise searching (searching from one location across all the sites that corporate has and on documents and external systems that are stored in other locations, not just in SharePoint). It also has features for storing details about people and searching on them, and it enables employees to have their own personal sites where they can store documents (instead of on their machines). SharePoint Server has many more features related to business intelligence and business processes and forms. (For more information about personal sites, see "What Is a Personal Site?" later in this chapter, and see Chapter 5, "Social Networking, Personal Sites, and Personal Details in SharePoint Server.")

Finally, SharePoint Server has a publishing feature that enables site managers to create publishing sites where it is easy to author pages (as opposed to documents) and publish them using workflows. This is very important for large corporations that want to, for example, publish corporate news using an approval workflow or build an Internet site where every page must go through a special approval process.

What Is Microsoft FAST Search?

FAST is an optional component of SharePoint Server that an organization can have installed on top of SharePoint. It adds further intelligence to the regular SharePoint search experience by enhancing the search options and how the search results are returned. If FAST is installed on a SharePoint site, you see more options than you would normally get in SharePoint. Chapter 4, "Searching in SharePoint," provides some examples of these options.

How to Tell Whether a Site Is Based on SPF or SharePoint Server

There is no way to tell just by looking whether a site is hosted on a server that has SharePoint Server installed. Customizations that a company might have developed may cause an SPF site to look as if it has some extensions that come with SharePoint Server. On the other hand, customizations can cause a SharePoint Server site to look simpler; for example, it might remove the SharePoint Server–specific links that help identify a site as a SharePoint Server site.

However, there is one thing you can look for in most SharePoint sites to determine with a fair degree of certainty whether a site is SharePoint Server or SPF: You can look for the My Site link under the name drop-down at the top of the screen (see Figure 1.3). If you see that link, you are viewing a site that is running on a server with SharePoint Server. Not having the link does not necessarily mean that the site does not have SharePoint Server, however, because the administrator can choose to disable that functionality.

Figure 1.3

Figure 1.3 The My Site link under the Name drop-down.

Additional differences between the two versions will become clear as you go through this book. Many topics in this book indicate that they are valid only in SharePoint Server, and you can usually find whether they are available by trying to perform the task described.

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